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Are long distance relationships realistic?

When work, education, familial obligations or even online dating is putting a large geographical gap between you and your significant other, you might begin to wonder if long-distance relationships are realistic. It’s true, the sadness and resentment created by not being able to see your beloved whenever you like may lead to a breakup. However, there are ways to make it work. Love really can conquer all, even across hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres — if you give it your all to help it along.

Woman talking to long distance boyfriend on Skype

Both of you agree on an end goal

If both parties are emotionally invested in the relationship, the gap between you and your partner is made smaller by your mutual commitment. How do you know you’re both on the same wavelength? As always, communication is key. If both of you are honest about your emotions, and you both agree on an end goal (namely, closing the physical gap, however you choose to do it) then there’s always that sense that you are working towards something together, and this distance is just temporary. This “happily ever after” goal should be set early on in the relationship and actively worked toward, in order to increase the likelihood of ever-after togetherness.

Open, honest, realistic but optimistic communication

Sometimes the distance may seem unbearable, especially on bad days, when all you want is a hug and kiss from your partner. When this happens, you may start to resent the distance and doubt the relationship because you start to focus on the negative aspects more than the many positives of your relationship. In these times, it is important not to keep your feelings to yourself, but to express and discuss your concerns and doubts with your partner in order to try to find solutions together. Talk about those positives together, in order to stay optimistic. For example, though you cannot see each other every night, you may want to plan special weekend activities to do together the next time you visit.

You are part of each other’s routine

Just because you and your partner are physically apart doesn’t mean that you should be emotionally distant. Frequent and open communication is vital. Calls and video or text-message chats, both brief and long, are important to keep the dialogue going. Whether you text-message your partner simply to say “hello” or “good night,” or you call to vent about your bad day at work, keeping in touch throughout the day will help minimize the feeling that your loved one is physically distant. Even if both parties are busy, making sure to include your partner in your daily routine will keep the communication open and decrease the physical gap.

You visit each other as often as you can

Whether you are only a couple of hours’ drive or a five-hour flight apart, agreeing on a travel schedule (for example, visiting every two or three weeks) will help you focus on positives instead of the dreaded distance. Knowing the next time you will see your partner and planning fun activities together fosters excitement and pleasure.

Keep the fire alive

Finally, just because you cannot physically be together as often as you like, you can still keep the passion alive. Intimate texts to each other will keep you both in anticipation for the next visit. Sending pictures (whether flirty, suggestive or cute) also keep that spark shining bright across the distance!

Ultimately, though many long-distance relationships do not work, there are still many that do — if both parties work together and put in the effort. “Distance” doesn’t have to be a bad word!

More relationship tips

Learning not to sweat the small stuff
7 Signs he may be cheating
How to secure a call-back for the second date

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